WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS ARTICLE?
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the discussion at hand, tutoring. As a teacher, and as a tutor myself, I have always found myself in an awkward position when parents ask me to tutor their child. It’s awkward because of many reasons.
- I know I can help your child improve whatever it is they are struggling with.
- I more than likely need the money you are willing to pay me.
- I also know that there is a high probability that you do not actually NEED my services, so do I take your child on as a client anyway and take your money?
As a consultant for parents, I no longer feel awkward when I am put in this position. I know that I have the responsibility of telling you that your child MAY NOT need me to tutor them. This comes from talking to you and knowing the situation at hand. This is the reason I decided to write this blog post.
I will probably upset a lot of my cohorts in the tutoring world with this post but here it goes…
WHAT IS A TUTOR?
A tutor is a person you hire when your child needs to be completely retaught a specific topic of a subject.
The teacher has MOVED ON from this topic and there are no longer windows of opportunity in the classroom for your child to relearn or continue to practice the skill or topic before the next test comes up. This means that there has been a passing of time and throughout this time, your child has not grasped the necessary steps and skills to display a proper understanding of the topic.
So does your child need someone to completely reteach them a topic?
Do you want your child to get ahead in a specific subject?
Is there an ongoing struggle your child is having with a series of topics in a subject?
Does your child get frustrated with homework itself?
Or are you seeing issues when it comes to your child taking tests?
Only the first two of these warrant the hiring of a tutor in the truest sense of the title.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS A TUTOR?
You can not be sure that your child needs a tutor if you are unsure how much your child knows about the topic or skill.
If you’re doing homework with your child and working them through each problem giving them the answers, how do you know the difference between what you know and what your child knows?
If you don’t help with homework at all, how do you know what your child knows?
The first thing parents should focus on is determining if your child knows NOTHING or if they are only missing a piece of the puzzle to help them get to the answer. There is a BIG difference between the two. That is the difference between needing a tutor and needing an extra 5 to 10 minutes with a teacher to review the steps you take to solve a problem.
Has the teacher reached out and specifically recommended that you hire a tutor for your child? Have you reached out and asked if the teacher can set aside an extra few minutes to help your child with the troublesome topic?
HOW DO I GET THE MOST OUT OF HIRING A TUTOR?
Even if you are ready to hire a tutor, to get the most out of your investment, you need to be able to tell that tutor exactly where the specific issue is.
You can not just say “my kid can’t add.” This forces the tutor to use the time you have paid them to help your child as assessment time. Now the actual procedure for helping gets shortened because they have to find out what the problem is themselves.
YOUR MONEY is much better spent when you can tell a tutor where your child’s addition starts to get fuzzy, what type of addition problems are the issue? Is it the actual combining of numbers, or is it the ability to recognize the value of the numbers themselves?
There are strategies to help you pinpoint where the boost is needed. Which makes it easier to explain to the tutor, which makes your child’s time with the tutor a time of teaching and practice, not one of figuring out where to start.
HOW CAN PARENT FOCUS HELP ME?
The Parent Focus strategies, help you pinpoint where the boost is needed.
Strategies create routines, routines create habits, habits lend themselves to predictable success. So look at your situation as a parent.
- Stuck to the chair in order to get homework done.
- Arguing with your child about getting it done.
- Feeling like you are not doing the right thing.
- Becoming resentful of the teacher and/or the homework because you don’t know half of it.
- Unable to figure out exactly where your child is struggling.
Parent focus will help you:
- Help your child properly with the first few homework problems and free up the rest of the time to do other things.
- Create a relaxed enjoyable environment around helping your child finish their homework.
- Feel confident and competent at being involved with your child’s work.
- See the actual benefits of what the homework is teaching your child.
- Pinpoint where the breakdown is occurring and help you decide if you should notify the teacher, can help by yourself, or if its time for a tutor.
Before you decide to invest in a tutor, Schedule your free 30 minute consult to assess your child’s need for a tutor. There may a free solution or a more cost-effective route to getting the improvements you are looking for. My job here at Parent Focus is to help you figure that out.
What does that mean? What does that look like? Let me give you a few before and after REAL LIFE scenarios to give you clarity.
- Karen’s daughter is 6 years old and she is getting low grades in math class. The teacher seems distant and unwilling to assist or provide any advice to help Karen so shes floundering, frustrated, and afraid of what the future holds for her little girl. At home, Karen sits down with her daughter and they do homework together from start to finish. She helps with each and every math problem to make sure her daughter has solved them all correctly. By the end of the night, all they have time to do is eat dinner and get a few pages of a book read together before it is bedtime.
- After parent focus, Karen puts a routine in place and after two days starts to see improvement in her daughter’s demeanor while she is doing her homework. Karen is able to sit through one or two problems with her daughter and then remove herself from the table and finish cooking dinner so the family can eat earlier. She comes back and does little check-ins but doesn’t have to sit to do them. Her daughter’s test scores begin to gradually improve and she notices her daughter feeling more confident about tackling her homework alone.
- Jake is a high school student who has always excelled in everything he learned up until now. He is acing his classwork and homework assignments in math but when it comes to testing time, his scores aren’t matching the grades he got on other assignments. Jake’s mom is worried about this sudden change and wonders if he needs a tutor. They are having more disagreements and arguments because she doesn’t like the fact that his grades are slipping and he doesn’t like that she is assuming he is being lazy or not working hard enough. He is tired of being nagged to study and his mother is tired of having to do the nagging even though the grades are still stagnant.
- After parent focus. Jake gets 100 on his next math test. He implements a note-taking strategy and a study routine that reinforces the confidence he has when he’s doing homework and classwork so that that same confidence sticks around during test time. He gets his mind and his binder organized for success with these strategies and starts getting the grades his mom knows he deserves. Jake’s mom now knows how to dip in and out of his room when he is studying because she knows what it should look like. She can spot check his binder quickly over his shoulder to see his study progress and give him a proud, reassuring pat on the back and rub his head as she goes back to doing her own thing in the living room.
- Chelsea receives discouraging news from her seven-year-old son Gavyn’s Parent Teacher Conference meeting. She learns that Gavyn is reading way below grade level and if he doesn’t catch up by the end of the year there could be the talk of being left behind. Chelsea explains to Gavyns Teacher that she doesn’t understand why he isn’t reading at a higher level because they read a book together every night. He enjoys it when she reads to him! He enjoys books. Annoyed at the teacher’s diagnosis, she decides to read more books with him, losing out on her usual post homework relaxation time and replacing it with “reading to Gavyn time” hoping to see improvements.
- After parent focus, Chelsea is able to go back to reading one reading leveled book with Gavyn, and yet the results are much more pronounced with the reading routine she has now put in place. She’s able to get back to brewing her own cup of tea and pulling out her James Patterson Novels like she used to before that dreaded Parent Teacher Conference meeting and after less than two weeks, Gavyn’s reading level has already increased.
These are real, though names have been changed. I bring them up to say, all of these situations improved drastically with the implementation of specific Parent-Focused routines and strategies. With the elementary aged children, the PARENT changed how they were involving themselves in their child’s education and that created the change in their child’s grades and their child’s mood and disposition when approaching the school and homework.
For the older child, the strategy and routine were given directly to him, but the parent was taught as well so as to facilitate, check on, and reinforce the use of them when doing their homework and studying.
WHY SHOULD I CALL YOU?
Let me potentially save you thousands of dollars with a free phone call. Schedule your free consult here:
You will leave this free consult with clarity about what is happening with your child.
You will leave this free consult with a confident decision about hiring a tutor or not.
You will leave this free consult with ideas about the types of strategies you can put in place at home, saving yourself thousands of dollars and giving your child independence in their learning process.
I look forward to speaking with you!
Stay focused parent!
Your Personal Education Consultant,